Rooster Rock by John Estes

When the eye sees beauty, the hand wants to draw it.Wittgenstein



What happened,

what impulse did I obey,

at the top

of that monument,

that rock, that moved

me to spill

my seed, to call

from depths

like a kraken of joy

my weedy salt?

Poor, unsuspecting

slug at my boots—

poor cloud-broke sky—

assaulted by

the yawp of Onan.


Oregon woods,

wet, steep and overrun,

guilty with moss

and rhododendrons—

sorry: I left a trace.

Though far, far

from any place or

one I know,

I mourn, in secret,

our lost days

and crossed stars.

Who can say

what creatures,

if happy, we’d become?